5 Things You Need to Know | Brain Training | Switch - TheFamicast.com: Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Friday, January 8, 2021

5 Things You Need to Know | Brain Training | Switch

by Danny Bivens

Get the lowdown before you throw down your cash. 
Nō o Kitaeru no Otona no Nintendo Switch Training, or Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training for Nintendo Switch, has been on the market for just over a year now. I’ve been playing the game almost every day since its release in Japan on December 27, 2019. While Switch owners in Japan, Europe and Australia have had access to the game on the eShop and at retail, most gamers in North America haven’t had a chance to try out the game yet. While it’s possible that the game could release any day now, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth it. Today I’m going to talk about five points you should consider when deciding whether or not to purchase this game. 

IR Exercises
There are several training exercises that makes use of the Joy Con’s IR camera. These include Finger Calculations, Finger Drills and Rock Paper Scissors. The camera functionality works fine and over the years I’ve been playing the game, I’ve never had any problems with it. I will say, these kind of feel like they were just tacked on to the game just to show that it could be done. Or maybe this was just some kind of proof of concept that Nintendo had ready during the Switch development. It’s really hard to say. When it comes down to it, these are a bit underwhelming and I usually found myself skipping them more often than not. Again, the tech works fine, but it might be a relief to hear that these don’t take the center stage of the overall package. 

Multiplayer & TV Play
Brain Age on the Nintendo Switch offers a few modes to play with friends. Not only that, but this is one of the only modes you can play on your TV. As for the games, there’s Birdwatching, Flag Raising and Box Counting. It can be kind of fun to take on your friends with these mini-games, but nothing is going to blow you away or keep you coming back. Birdwatching and Box Counting rely on counting items on the screen and seeing which player is the closest to getting things right. Flag raising uses the gyro features in the Joy Con to mimic what’s happening on screen. Honestly, I haven’t been able to talk any friends into playing, so I just took to playing by myself to check everything out. Like the IR exercises, i was left a little underwhelmed. Just to note here, too, these modes (as far as I know) are not available in the single player mode. 

Brain Training Championship
When Brain Age first released on the Switch, one of the key features of the game was listed as “Coming soon.” Of course, this was the Brain Training Championship. Here, participants compete in four tasks and have their results stacked up against people from all over the world. Players have a full 24 hours over the weekend to join. Results become available every Monday at 4:00 p.m. and show just where you rank around the world. A few thousand people per week participate, and I always find it pretty fun to take part. Not only can you see where you place overall, you can also see where you place in your age bracket as well. Overall, this mode is something I try to set aside time for every weekend.  
Free Stylus
While buying Brain Age digitally might be the preference of many, those who pick up the game physical get an extra - a stylus. While it’s perfectly possible to play the game without it, you will definitely find yourself putting in more precise numbers and letters with help of the included stylus. If you don’t want to go physical (and don’t have the Mario Maker 2 stylus), Nintendo does sell the accessory from the official stores in your region. Be sure to check that for the optimal way to play the game, or alternatively, try your luck with a third party option.  

+α Other Goodies
There are a few other things included here in the package. Similar to Devilish Brain Training on the 3DS, players can also go through the working memory challenges, which is yet another way to see how well you can remember things. A few other extras include unlocking the original Brain Age theme when you reach the Brain Age level of 20 (just for that session), an  extra Dr. Mario-like puzzle game called Germ Buster, friend rankings, the ability to opt into Brain Age daily result emails and even a shiny gold star on the months you trained every day of the month. 

Spending a year with Brain Training on the Switch has actually been pretty enjoyable. Over that time, I can’t really say for sure if my cognitive abilities have increased. At the same time, I have noticed that my average scores and times for the exercises have gone up. While I think the series would see more success (and practicality) on mobile, this Switch version provides a fun experience with minimal time commitment. The new IR camera additions are neat, but their addition doesn’t make this a must buy. Overall, it’s a pretty casual experience and it’s a budget priced game (in Japan and PAL) so it might be worth your time. Keep that in mind before taking the plunge. 

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